is building on its acquisition of FRC to build out distribution services for fund firms. The thrust of the new effort will be headed by FRC executive Bob Kennedy
who will lead a newly created unit at Bisys. The back-office firm will also be adding new members to its sales and marketing team as part of the initiative. Bisys purchased FRC in 2000.
Kennedy takes the title of director at Bisys Distribution Solutions
. That new unit will provide product, marketing, and sales support services to fund firms and other investment managers. Bisys is hoping that by offering wholesaling type services in conjunction with the research and strategic services provided by FRC that it would differentiate itself in a crowded market.
Bisys has offered wholesaling services to fund firms in the past as have a number of its competitors such as SEI, UMB Investment Services, and DST. Jim Schoenike, president of Quasar Distributors, told the MFWire.com that his firm offers services similar to those performed by internal wholesalers but not a service as extensive as that provided by external wholesalers.
"We assist with outbound calling and promotional efforts, but do not kick down the doors the way wholesalers do," said Schoenike. He sees no need for such a service for funds.
While Bisys is not alone in offering wholesaling services, it is taking the lead on integrating those services with proprietary research. That development is being eyed by its competitors to see how it works and at least one firm has created a similar tie. Late last year PFPC and Cerulli cut a deal to provide joint services to National City for its Armada Funds.
Bisys' services may appeal to fund firms seeking to cut costs in response to the down market. Research from Capital Resource Advisors reveals that sales and marketing are often the first places asset managers cut when the going gets tough. That raises the question, though, of whether Bisys will be able to hold onto this business when the market rebounds.
To serve the accounts the unit plans to build its sales and marketing team to between 15 and 20 from fewer than 10 today. It has also hired a key account manager for the unit. Bisys may announce that hiring as soon as this week.
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